How to Pick an LPN School in Hampstead Maryland
Now that you have chosen a rewarding vocation in the field of nursing, it’s essential that you choose a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school in Hampstead MD that will furnish the right education. If you live in Texas or California, then you will be looking for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, other than the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both undertake the same job functions and work in healthcare facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their responsibilities do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will look at in the following segment. When starting their search for schools, many potential nursing students begin with those that are the closest to their homes or that are the least expensive. While cost and location are relevant points to consider, they are not the only criteria that you should base your selection on. Other factors, such as if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are extremely important as well. There are various other questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LVN or LPN training program that we will address later in this article. But first, let’s have a look at the job of an LPN and what is involved in the education and licensing process.
LPN and LVN Job Functions
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses have many different tasks that they carry out in the Hampstead MD health facilities where they are employed. As their titles signify, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Maryland. Although they may be accountable for managing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves typically work under the guidance of either an RN or a doctor. The medical facilities where they work are numerous and varied, including hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Virtually any place that you can encounter patients requiring medical treatment is their dominion. Every state not only controls their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can’t perform. So depending on the state, their daily work activities can include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Providing medications
- Setting up IV drips
- Observing patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Managing patient records
- Supporting doctors or Registered nurses with procedures
In addition to their occupational duties being regulated by each state, the Hampstead MD health facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can further limit their job roles within those parameters. Also, they can work in numerous specialties of nursing, including long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN Courses
There are essentially two scholastic credentials offered in Maryland that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be completed in the shortest amount of time, usually about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and commonly require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from providing a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you seek, it should be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the syllabus effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Hampstead MD, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degrees Available
There are several degree options available to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or advance to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are available in the Hampstead MD area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a two year program offered by Maryland community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more in depth training than the ADN. It is generally a 4 year program offered at Maryland colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might desire to advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is usually a two year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has earned one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the Maryland board of nursing for any state requirements.
In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA training can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Hampstead MD area. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of training directed and each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s crucial to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to contact the health or nursing board for Maryland to make sure that the training is state certified. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other requirements as well.
Nursing Online Classes
Attending nursing programs online is becoming a more preferred way to obtain training and earn a nursing degree. Some Hampstead MD area schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient answer to finding the time to attend school for some students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your work and household obligations have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Courses
Now that you have determined which nursing degree to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Maryland and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we earlier pointed out, the site of the school relative to Hampstead MD along with the price of tuition are probably going to be the initial two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see how your selection compares to the other schools.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program in addition to the Hampstead MD school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping make sure that you obtain a premium education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited Maryland schools.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for nurses, both LPNs and RNs, vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN or NCLEX-RN) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Hampstead MD school you are enrolled in not only delivers an outstanding education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Maryland or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Additionally, get in touch with the Maryland school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some local Hampstead MD healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their opinions are of the schools as well.
Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the LPN colleges you are considering what their graduation rates are as well as how long on average it takes students to complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships in the Hampstead MD area to help students obtain a position.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs in Maryland require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships in the Hampstead MD area.
Pick the Right LPN Degree Hampstead 21074
Selecting the right Licensed Practical Nurse training program is probably the most important first step to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are many variables that you must think about when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and financial status. As we have highlighted in this post, it is critical that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become an LPN in Hampstead MD.
Why Did You Decide to Be a Licensed Practical Nurse?When getting ready to interview for a nursing position, it's helpful to review questions you might be asked. Among the questions that recruiters typically ask nursing candidates is "What made you select nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to uncover is not just the personal reasons you might have for becoming an LPN, but additionally what qualities and talents you possess that make you exceptional at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining exclusively to nursing, in addition to a certain number of general interview questions, so you need to ready a number of approaches about how you want to respond to them. Given that there are so many factors that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a number of ways. When readying an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession interests you as well as the abilities you have that make you an exceptional nurse and the leading candidate for the job. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but jot down some concepts and topics that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample responses can assist you to prepare your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to include to enthuse the interviewer.
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